Thursday, March 17, 2011

Smoking Link Sausage For The First Time


Thanks to my Rytek Kutas sausage making book and some advice from Chez over at Fat Johnny’s Front Porch, I’d made it to the final step in the sausage process – smoking it. From what I understand, it’s important to keep the smoker temp at 160* because if it goes higher, the fat in the sausage will melt and run out yielding a less than desirable product.

My Stumps Smoker is a box shape which is good for hanging linked sausage – I didn’t want to lay it on the racks – so I removed the shelves, bought some 5/8” diameter wooden dowel rods, and cut them to the right length to fit the smoker. I have a device called a DigiQ for my smoker which is basically a thermometer and a fan (like our homes) that controls the internal temp. My concern was whether or not it could stay at the lower temps.

According to Rytek, the pit should be at 130* until the casings have dried and it has achieved a nice color, then it is slowly raised and smoke is introduced. This description works fine for a smoker designed for smoking sausage, which mine isn’t, so I have less control over the smoke amount.

I got the smoker to 130* and added the sausage - note only two probes, one for the smoker and one for the meat - a record low for me.

The book said to hold it at 130* for an hour, but after about 15 minutes, the temp started creeping up taking an hour to get to 147*, at which point I added a chunk of hickory and began easing the smoker temp up to 160*.  I had to trrottle the inlet air back to a very small opening to maintain the 160* pit temp, but the Stumps was able to do it - a windy, 30 degree day would have been a little easier.  Next time I may fuel it by adding a few lit coals as needed - but hey this is a first and I'm sure I'll learn alot from it.

The meat temp got up to 125* pretty quick, but then with an ever decreasing difference between the pit and the meat temps, it slowed way down (thermodynamics in action) - I'm kicking myself for not using Chris' cooking log - I'll remember it next time.  I put it on at 10am EDT and took it out at 5pm at an internal temp of 149* - big difference in the color.

Guess what I had for supper - leftover pasta with that good sauce and a piece of sausage with my homemade mustard.

I don't know why the shots turned out so bad and why it has the white streaks on it, but Bev and I both really liked it.  This is a big deal as she has told me on a regular basis that she doesn't like cased sausage - I now believe she'll support making more and help me eat it.  I've made this before and just smoked it as an uncased chub, but it's better stuffed into a casing.  I'm so pleased with this entire first try and I will definitely make, stuff, and smoke more - I feel a new stuffer coming on.

Coal companies aren't dumb - I've seen a flood of ads regarding coal to produce electricity since Japan's nuke problems happened.  Playing to our fears me thinks.

Have a good day and thanks for visiting.



  1. That's some good looking sausage Larry. Happy St. Patty's day to you and Bev.

  2. I can't imagine how good that sausage tastes. You should be very impressed with yourself. What I wouldn't give for a chunk of that for breakfast right now.

  3. Happy St. Patty's day to you and Bev, Larry!
    YAY!!! I think those sausages look like they turned out perfectly! Now you make me wish I had more then just an electric smoker! I should probably tackle making my own sausage first before I think about the smoking process!! lol
    Oh..and thanks for the link to the burrito! I still have a little pork left...I'm thinking breakfast on Saturday morning!!

  4. Oh MY---I would love those sausages... YUM.. They look delicious... You did GOOD!!!!

    I get so tired of people in our country worried about radiation HERE.... That's just the way WE are... Thinking about ourselves.. I say let's take care of the people in Japan FIRST before thinking about us.... Geeeesssshhh.


  5. They look perectly delicious!

  6. Larry,
    There are so many variations of cooking temps and time and smoke and no smoke you'll go crazy trying to figure them out.
    My suggestion: Build your own smoker. Include as many air intakes and dampers as you see fit. Test, Test, Test.
    I've tried every fuel from electricity, propane,wood to charcoal. My favorite is still charcoal. Just the right amount in a well insulated, air tight smoker wins every time. Most of all just have fun!!

  7. Larry, Great looking sausage! You are a lot more patient that I would ever be. Too much work and time involved. Unfortunately for me, my thing is eating...not cooking!

    Those coal ads have been around for awhile now... I think that they're more of an attempt to convince the public that there's no need for alternate fuel sources. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  8. ...these are mean looking home-made sausages... I've tried making them with beef and I still need to perfect the recipe!

  9. Wowza... you are what I would call a professional!! Fantastic.. I can almost smellum... Keri

  10. very nicely done, bigdude ... that sausage looks fantastic.

  11. I can only imagine the difficulties of maintaining such a low temp, especially without electronics. I will have to try this but will take some reconfiguration of the Egg to hold the sausage like that.


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